Lahore School of Economics

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The Environment of Small Cities of Pakistan

Call for Papers
First Annual Conference of Department of Environmental Science and Policy
Lahore School of Economics
“The Environment of Small Cities of Pakistan”
April 16-17, 2015

From Gwadar in the south to Skardu in the far north, small cities of Pakistan are in the throes of change spurred by social and metabolic processes of global urbanization. While this transformation is uneven and varied it is a trend towards incorporation of the local and small scale in the circuit of global capital. E-waste recycling in Bhakkar or burgeoning health and agro-chemical commerce in Jampur exemplify developments destined to have far reaching socio-ecological consequences.

All cities exist in a larger industrial and commercial system. Historically small cities of Pakistan represent a diversity of local production and associated culture. The growth of large cities signified the dominance of centralized power but the continued existence of smaller urban centres reflected the natural demand of their hinterland and limits of technology. Today their size is restricted because of the drain and limit of their capital. In a few cases economic globalization and technological innovations have allowed these limits to be transgressed, arrested growth or promoted it in new and different directions. Depletion of small cities is on the rise as cultural and material capital flows towards the larger cities of Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. This cultural, demographic and economic depletion of small cities is creating increasing inequality and bipolarity of the urban system.

The local discourse on the environment of cities has to move away from metrics of pollution, population and technological fixes to a holistic view of the social and metabolic processes of urbanization. There is need for empirical study of particular characteristics of small cities that are growing or declining. To investigate how the communities of small urban centres are responding to the challenges of urban development and the contradictions within these processes of change. The imperative issues of resilience, reduced energy consumption, local initiatives and self reliance, food security and food sovereignty, changing character of social and community life, transport, threats to resource recycling, relation of local economy to the global economy need to be addressed.

Scale of settlements is a perennial theme in the search for ‘sustainable environments’, the conferencewould revisit the same as unhampered access and expanding enclosures radically alter the dimensions of urban settlements. The aim of the conference is to build a deeper, ecological narrative of environmental change in small cities of Pakistan based on empirical research unfettered by narrow disciplinary boundaries.

Suggested themes:

Demographics and migration in small towns.
Social Capital and economic growth in small cities.
The role of education in environmental change.
The culture of small cities; language, media and cultural production.
Exchange versus use value in small city development.
Comparative View: Small Cities in India, Europe, Africa, Latin America.
Historical View: Urban System(s) and Small Cities.
The Future of Small Cities in Pakistan.

Key dates:
Abstract submission: Nov 10, 2014
Acceptance notification: Dec 1, 2014
Full paper submission: Feb 20, 2015
Circulation of Programme: March 16, 2015

Conference: April 16-17, 2015


For further details please contact the following:

Rabia Nadir
Assistant Professor
Centre for Media Studies
Lahore School of Economics
Office # 92 42 36560954

Isbah Hameed

Teaching Associate
Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Lahore School of Economics
Office # 92 42 36560954

Lahore School of Economics, Intersection Main Boulevard Phase VI DHA and Burki Road, Burki 53200, Lahore, Pakistan

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10/17/2014 10:40:00 AM,

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